Nigel Farage rejects idea of rejoining Tory party under Rishi Sunak | Nigel Farage #Nigel #Farage #rejects #idea #rejoining #Tory #party #Rishi #Sunak #Nigel #Farage

Nigel Farage has suggested he could return to politics following his appearance on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!, but dismissed the idea he could rejoin the Conservative party under Rishi Sunak.

The former Ukip leader finished third in the reality television programme over the weekend after being locked in a box of snakes for his final challenge.

Farage’s spell on the ITV show has led some Conservatives to speculate he could return to British politics as a Tory politician, having left the party in 1992 over the signing of the Maastricht treaty. Reports this weekend suggested some Tory MPs wanted Boris Johnson to return as party leader before the election on a double ticket with Farage as a way to reverse the party’s poll deficit.

Farage told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday he would consider doing so, saying: “Never say never. I can’t predict right now what will happen.”

But he dismissed the idea he could return to the Conservatives under Sunak’s leadership. “I am looking at a Conservative government that is in total shambles, facing tomorrow effectively a confidence vote on an issue that affects every single living human being in our country, namely immigration on a level that never happened even during Tony Blair’s days.

“Rishi is a lame duck walking and the Conservative party are headed for total defeat,” he said.

His comments will keep hopes alive for those on the right of the Tory party that they could fashion some kind of deal with Farage’s Reform UK party, which is now polling at about 9%.

Senior Conservatives have toyed with the idea of enticing Farage back to the party since the Brexit vote. In recent months his reputation on the Tory benches has been enhanced as the party’s poll rating has slumped.

Sunak appeared to open the door to a return for the Reform UK founder during the Tory party conference this year when he told GB News: “The Tory party is a broad church. I welcome lots of people who want to subscribe to our ideals, to our values.”

The idea of a joint Johnson-Farage leadership bid would be very difficult to engineer given neither has a seat in the House of Commons. It would either require a Conservative MP to resign their seat within months to allow Johnson to return or for an ally to act as prime minister until the election, when he may be able to come back to the Commons.

Farage’s allies say he is unlikely to seek a seat as an MP at the next election, having failed on several occasions in the past. One told the Guardian this weekend: “I think the chances of him standing for election is pretty much nil. Apart from anything else, when he was standing for Ukip back in the day it ended up with him being locked up in South Thanet [where Farage stood] whereas this time he can roam around the country.”

Farage said on Monday he would not make any immediate decision. “Somehow to think that we’re going to walk out of a jungle after 23 nights and announce a relaunch in British politics, frankly, is for the birds,” he told GB News.

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